03. Origins of Jesus Mythicism



In Origins of Jesus Mythicism: Confused Esoterica and Angry Polemic, Jesus mythicism is shown to have its origins in Renaissance esoterica (particularly with Renaissance Hermetism) that was inherited by various “secret societies,” and finally coalesced in France around the time of the French Revolution. While the initial ideas (based on astrology) were quickly dismissed by scholars, they gained popularity among nineteenth century occultists and other cranks. Other more scholarly theories also appeared but these too were often traceable to the same dubious lineage.

By the time the story is done, Jesus mythicism is shown to be rooted in Western European conceits and accumulated errors overlaid with crackpot conspiracy theories of Christian origins. Once you know how it evolved, it will be difficult to ever take it seriously again.


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The contents of the book are as follows:

Preface

Series Introduction

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Remnants
1.1 – The Start of a Strange Road
1.2 – Neoplatonism
1.3 – Hermetism
1.4 – Kabbalah
1.5 – Conclusion

Chapter 2 – Hermes Revisited
2.1 – Outline of a Revival
2.2 – Two Streams of Hermetism
2.3 – Two Pillars of Hermetism
2.4 – Hermetism and Kabbalah
2.5 – Secret Messages
2.6 – Age of the Renaissance Magus
2.7 – Collapse of the Hermetic Revival
2.8 – Conclusion

Chapter 3 – Recycling the Dream
3.1 – New Sources
3.2 – Freemasonry
3.3 – Theosophy
3.4 – Burned Over District
3.5 – Spiritualism
3.6 – Völkisch Movements
3.7 – Conclusion

Chapter 4 – Perfect Storm
4.1 – Reformation Fallout
4.2 – Skeptical Inquiry
4.3 – A French Revolution
4.4 – American Experience
4.5 – Decline of a Theory
4.6 – Conclusion

Chapter 5 – Golden Age of Mythicism (1830-1950)
5.1 – Early British Quackery
5.2 – Gerald Massey
5.3 – Kersey Graves
5.4 – Friedrich Max Müller
5.5 – Freemasonic Histories
5.6 – Faraway Lands
5.7 – Later Scholarship
5.8 – Hegelian Mythicism
5.9 – Madame Blavatsky and Theosophy
5.10 – John E. Remsburg
5.11 – Oddballs and Ends
5.12 – Alvin Boyd Kuhn
5.13 – Edward Carpenter
5.14 – Manly P. Hall
5.15 – Joseph Wheless
5.16 – Conclusion

Chapter 6 – The Lean Years (1950-1995)
6.1 – Herbert Cutner
6.2 – Ernest Busenbark
6.3 – Lloyd M. Graham
6.4 – Raymond M. Bernard
6.5 – Hilton Hotema
6.6 – Afrocentric Mythicism
6.7 – Joseph Campbell
6.8 – John Allegro
6.9 – Hamlet’s Mill
6.10 – Barbara G. Walker
6.11 – Conclusion

Chapter 7 – Jesus Mythicism Redux (1995- ?)
7.1 – Conspiracy Is King
7.2 – Return of Jesus Mythicism
7.3 – Jordan Maxwell
7.4 – Afrocentric Voices
7.5 – Tim C. Leedom
7.6 – David Fideler
7.7 – Malik H. Jabbar
7.8 – Timothy Freke & Peter Gandy
7.9 – D. M. Murdock (aka “Acharya S”)
7.10 – Tom Harpur
7.11 – Brian Fleming
7.12 – Frank C. Newby
7.13 – Tony Bushby
7.14 – Mushroom Madness
7.15 – Michael Tsarion
7.16 – Peter Joseph
7.17 – Bill Darlison
7.18 – Dan Barker
7.19 – Robert M. Price
7.20 – Earl Doherty
7.21 – Richard Carrier
7.22 – Internet Mythicists
7.23 – Mythicist Du Jour
7.24 – Conclusion

Conclusion

Appendix 1 – Zeitgeist, Luxor Temple, and the Nativity of Jesus

Appendix 2 – Gerald Massey, Acharya S, and the Immaculate Conception

Appendix 3 – Chief Seattle of the Prairie?

Appendix 4 – The Orpheus Amulet

Appendix 5 – Acharya S, Bart Ehrman, and the Penis-Nosed Rooster-Man

Appendix 6 – Acharya S and the Crucifixion of Horus

Appendix 7 – Tom Harpur Defends His “Research”

Appendix 8 – Mushroom of Revelation

Appendix 9 – Dan Barker on God and Evil

Appendix 10 – Dan Barker’s Debate Debacle

Appendix 11 – Augustine, Al Stefanelli, and Documentation

Bibliography

Notes